As we continue in our study of the Amidah, we see that the first three sections focus on worship of God. We remember who God was, is, and promises to be, we know we can bring our needs (both individual and corporate) before Him.
Today’s section is prayer for intelligence:
You favor men with knowledge, and teach mortals understanding.
O favor us with the knowledge,
the understanding and the insight that come from you.
Blessed are you, O Lord, the gracious giver of knowledge.
This prayer is not so much about being smart, as it is about having a teachable spirit and humbly asking for the Lord’s instruction.
This request patterns several Old Testament requests from the saints:
- Moses, asking for help to lead the Israelites (Exodus 33:13)
- David, asking for instruction (Psalm 25:4-5, Psalm 86:11)
- Solomon, asking for wisdom to lead God’s people (2 Chronicles 1:10-12)
Isaiah chapter 55 reminds us that we need God’s input and instruction in our lives:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Solomon reminded his son in Proverbs 1:7 that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
When we know where the starting point is, the journey becomes much easier.
Your fellow learner,
PS – if you want to read the Amidah in its entirety, follow the link here.